Coasters at SeaWorld Orlando

When most people think of SeaWorld, the first thing that comes to mind is Shamu. While that is an amazing part of the SeaWorld experience, those seeking some adrenaline pumping roller coaster experiences can also get some action. My kids absolutely love the roller coasters at SeaWorld.

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Journey to Atlantis

This ride combines the thrill of a roller coaster with some soaking wet fun. You are loaded in a boat and off you go on water and high-speed rails to explore a sunken city. My kids wanted to ride this roller coaster over and over during our first visit to SeaWorld. You will not be disappointed. This is a mild roller coaster that is suitable for those 42” or taller.

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Kraken

This roller coaster, named after a sea serpent, is meant to be for the more daring. If loops, dives, corkscrews, and drops are your thing, then this is the coaster for you. This is definitely a more thrilling ride and is suitable for thrill seekers 54” or taller.

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Manta

Last but not least, is Manta. This coaster lets you soar and dive in air like a ray in the water. This ride is fast and intense with many loops, twists, and nosedives. What I loved about this ride was that it was extremely smooth as if you were gliding. I must admit that this was my favorite ride at SeaWorld. This ride is for those 54” or taller.

While the marine life is an important part of the SeaWorld theme park, there is also plenty of excitement for the thrill seekers. Let me help you be a part of the fun by planning your next vacation to Orlando, FL.

Michelle Terry

MichelleT@travelwiththemagic.com

1-866-Hi-Miki-2

The Oasis of the Sea

My family and I sailed on the Oasis of the Seas for our summer vacation. This ship is truly breath taking! From the moment we stepped onboard we were amazed and stunned by her beauty. The detail that Royal Caribbean put into this ship is truly magnificent. The ship is divided up into seven neighborhoods with special themes, including Central Park, The Boardwalk, The Sports Zone, The Youth Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa, Royal Promenade, and Entertainment Place. The entertainment and activities are endless.

The Sports Zone has a zip-line, two flow riders, miniature golf, volley ball, and basketball courts.

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The Boardwalk features numerous restaurants, bars, shops, two rock climbing walls, a handcrafted carousel, and the Aqua Theatre.

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Central Park features numerous restaurants, bars, a living park with over 12,000 plants and trees. The Rising Tide Bar is accessed in Central Park which is raised and lowered over three decks.

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The Pool Zone has four pools and numerous hot tubs. It also features a splash zone for kids. There are many bars in the pool zone, a self-serving ice cream station, and a reggae band plays throughout the day.

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The Royal Promenade features numerous bars and shops.

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Entertainment Place features the Opal Theater, Studio B where the ice skating takes place, The Live Comedy Show, The Casino, Blazes night club, The Jazz Club, and numerous bars. HairSpray was the featured show during our sailing and it was fabulous! The entertainment on this ship is outstanding. The 70’s disco party was my favorite.

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We agreed as a family this is one of our best vacations to date. We had so much fun on the boat that we almost did not want to get off the ship at the ports. We had the time of our lives. The crew went over and beyond from the room steward to the dining room staff. Royal Caribbean truly goes over and beyond for their guests. I highly recommend the Oasis of the Seas to people of all ages.

Tonya Vega – (800) 670-4312×142 or Tonyav@travelwiththemagic.com

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

 

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Beyond the theme parks, Disney is the home of the world’s largest wave pool. This pool is located at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. As Disney legend has it, a fierce hurricane roared across the sea, hurling surfboards into trees, blowing small boats through roofs and the shrimp boat Miss Tilly, was found on the top of the great volcanic mountain Mt Mayday. Left in the typhoon’s wake was a thrilling water park filled with waterslides, surf pools, relaxing creeks and lots of sunshine.

Attractions:

Crush ‘N’ Gusher – Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool – Castaway Creek – Gang Plank Falls

Humunga Kowabunga – Keelhaul Falls – Ketchakiddee Creek

Mayday Falls – Shark Reef – Storm Slides

When arriving at the park I would suggest arriving early. Arriving at park opening will allow you to claim a beach chair & get a shady spot near the wave pool. You will want to pick your spot before swimming because once they are gone; they don’t usually become available again until late in the day. During the summer the park is known for closing early due to capacity and doesn’t allow more guests in until 2:00 pm.

Typhoon lagoon chairs

Towels and lockers are available for you to rent near the park entrance. No buckles or metal are allowed on bathing suits and one piece bathing suits are recommended. Coolers are allowed but no glass containers or alcoholic beverages. I would also recommend water shoes or flip flops. The concrete can get extremely hot. There will be a lot of walking and stair climbing to get to all of the attractions.

Counter service options are available for lunch with plenty of snacks options as well. Disney also offers a refillable mug for sale (not your refillable mug from the resorts) that you can fill throughout the day. Picnic tables and covered areas are available for you to enjoy you items.

Typhoon Lagoon food

Our favorite ride is Crush-n-Gusher. This water coaster propels you through drops and turns while riding a two or three man raft. There are three coasters you can ride, “Banana Blaster” “Coconut Crusher” or “Pineapple Plunger”.

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After several rides on the coaster we head over to Castaway Creek for a relaxing ride on an inner tube. While floating around the creek or flying down the Crush-n-Gusher coaster photopass photographers will be there to take your picture, so always be smiling.

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Bring along your autograph books and camera because you never know which characters you may run into in the park.

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The water park is open year around however is closed 3 months out of the year for refurbishment. Closings normally occur between November and February. Check for closings if you are going in the winter. All of the pools are heated between 75 & 80 degrees year round.

Are you ready to plan a trip to the World? Let me help you!

I am Allison King a Travel Agent from North Carolina.

I am affiliated with, Travel with the Magic.

To learn more about Typhoon Lagoon and all things Disney, find me on Facebook or Pintrest

Contact me at Allison@travelwiththemagic.com or 1-800-670-4312 ext. 134

I’d love to help you plan, a magical Disney vacation for your family & you.

Don’t forget to order Photopass Plus when booking your reservation.

Miniature Golf – Disney Style

Walt Disney World is so much more than just theme parks. There are also two water parks, world class golf courses, the ESPN Wide World of Sports, and two miniature golf courses, just to name a few of the options you have for entertainment away from the 4 main theme parks.

In this post I’m going to focus on the miniature golf courses. Both of them are elaborately themed (we would expect nothing less from Disney!) and fun for the whole family!

First we have Fantasia Gardens and Fairways

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Here you will find two 18 hole courses themed after the Disney film Fantasia. The Garden side is more child friendly with whimsical designs including dancing alligators, hippos in tu-tus, and some holes that resemble musical instruments like a piano

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Of course you will find the Sorcerer and his Apprentice as well. Make sure you watch out for the broomsticks and their water buckets!

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The Fairways side is geared more towards the serious golfer. This side has sand traps, bunkers, water hazards and sloping greens. This side is more challenging and could be frustrating for inexperienced golfers and children.

Fantasia Gardens and Fairways is located in the Boardwalk area of Walt Disney World, across the street from the Swan hotel. To get here you can take a bus from the parks to the Swan and then just walk over to the course.

The other miniature golf course is called Winter Summerland and is located next to Blizzard Beach. To get here all you need to do is take a bus from your resort to Blizzard Beach and then just walk over.

Winter Summerland also has two 18 hole courses. Here you can join Santa, his elves and some Disney characters for some fun at Santa’s off-season retreat. One course is a tropical summer Christmas and on the other side you will find snow in Florida, just like you find at Blizzard Beach water park. Both courses are designed with the entire family in mind.

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The cost for the mini golf courses is currently $12 for adults and $10 for children ages 3-9. If you have the water park fun & more option on your magic your way park tickets you can use one of your ‘entries’ for a round of miniature golf, but it has to be used prior to 4pm and you cannot play two rounds at the same park, in the same day.

Interested in learning more about all the options available to you at Disney World? Contact me, MIchelle Beam, today by email or you can find me on facebook. It doesn’t cost you any extra to book your vacation through me and I’d love to help you plan!

Swim with Manatees!

(the other magical experience in Central Florida)

We all know Florida is home to Walt Disney World but there is another magical place not far from Orlando known as the “Home of the Manatee”; Crystal River, FL . A short drive from Orlando, Crystal River is located on the “Nature Coast” in Central Florida. Here, natural springs provide warm water year round, which comes in handy because here you can swim with manatees in their natural habitat!

Swim with the Manatees

Manatees, also known as Sea Cows (but isn’t the word Manatee so much more fun!?), spend the winter months in the springs since the water is warmer.

I had the amazing opportunity to swim with the Manatees a few years ago in the month of January. We booked a tour that only took up to 6 people out at a time. This was great because a lot of the companies take 15+ people out at a time. This many people can be loud and frighten the manatees away. A smaller group that can stay quiet and spread out is much more likely to have a positive and magical encounter with these gentle giants.

Private tour

We lucked out and booked the first tour in the morning on a VERY cold day. The other few people that booked for our same time decided not to come so my husband and I had our own private tour! We changed into wetsuits provided by the tour company and watched a short video about the manatees. Since they are an endangered species they are protected by laws. Florida has laws about how you treat the manatees and interact with them so we learned about that first. The boat ride out to the springs was about 10 minutes and it was FREEZING! I could not imagine getting in the water. Remember though that the water is a steady 72 degrees so it felt MUCH better IN the water than out!

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Our guide was so wonderful. She grew up in the area and knew exactly where to go to find the manatees. She stayed in the boat and would point them out to us. You could float on a noodle and just stay still and they would come right up to you. We even saw a mom and her calf.

Mom and Calf

I cannot describe in words how amazing this experience was. It is so quiet and peaceful just under the surface of the water and these amazing creatures are known as being smart and friendly. I felt like I had experienced an encounter with another world. It was breathtaking.

Next time you are in Florida in the winter months and have some spare time I encourage you to visit Crystal Springs and swim with the manatees. It is simply amazing. And it will make you smile- just like this Smiling Manatee!

Smiling Manatee

~Aleshia, Travel with the Magic

aleshia@travelwiththemagic.com